This week we bring you another Policy Watch, an informational series where we aim to keep you informed on legislation trends in Washington. In an update on last month’s edition, none of the bills presented saw movement in Congress. However, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which we showcased in February was signed into law. There remains opposition to the law from those who believe it would decrease internet freedoms and show no benefit.
With Tax Season now behind us, we thought it would be a good idea to check on what Congress has planned for America’s taxation system:
Short and sweet, The EGO Act “ prohibits the use of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the federal government to pay for an official portrait of an officer or employee of the federal government,” which includes the President, Vice President, any member of Congress or any head of a federal agency. The bill was proposed by Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and became law March 27.
Guess the next President will have to pay for their own portrait!
From Representative Mike Bishop of Michigan, the 21st Century IRS Act “This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish requirements for the Internal Revenue Service regarding cybersecurity, the protection of taxpayer identities, information technology, and electronic systems.” The bill mandates that the IRS develop systems for electronic filing, and establish better practices to protect taxpayers from identity theft.
The bill was introduced on April 10, and passed the House on April 18.
From Representative David Young of Iowa, the Justice for Victims of IRS Scams and Identity Theft Act was introduced to the House on June 15, 2017, and was finally put to a vote in the House and passed on April 18 of this year.
It requires the Department of Justice to establish procedures to expedite the review of, and seek an indictment in, any case involving identity theft or aggravated identity theft by an individual who impersonates an employee or officer of the Internal Revenue Service.
The Justice Department “must submit to Congress and publish a report that contains certain information on the status of prosecutions for such offenses.”
On April 10, another bill for the Internal Revenue Code was proposed by Representative Lynn Jenkins of Kansas. The Taxpayer First Act requires that the IRS “submit to Congress a customer service strategy, continue to operate the IRS Free File Program, and exempt certain low-income taxpayers from payments required to submit an offer-in-compromise.”
The bill was passed in the House April 19.
These bills will likely have a positive outcome on the general populace, but there is always a caution that similar bills could be combined or re-purposed to suite other needs. We’ll track this legislation closely for any suspicious changes.
Want us to look at a specific topic? Let us know in the comments!